1. Isaacs, Susan.  As Husbands Go

Astonished when her seemingly devoted husband is found murdered in a prostitute’s apartment, Susie, a mother of 4-year-old triplets, bristles at her neighbors’ mixed reactions and tackles everyone from her husband’s partners to the DA to restore her family’s honor. By the author of Past Perfect.

2. Jacobson, Howard.  The Finkler Question

Julian Treslove, a radio producer, and Samuel Finkler, a Jewish philosopher, have been friends since childhood and, as they enter middle age, they reminisce over their struggles with self-identity, anti-Semitism, women, love, and the past.

Note: The narration in this book is intellectually reflective with lots of insecurity, character development, and wit.  The themes and tone remind me a lot of Philip Roth. It’s also heavy on identity politics and the Israeli-Palestinian “question.”

3.  Morton, Kate.  Forgotten Garden.

 Abandoned on a 1913 voyage to Australia, Nell is raised by a dock master and his wife who do not tell her until she grows up that she is not their child, a situation that causes her to return to England and eventually hand down her quest for answers to her granddaughter.

4.  Karp, Brianna.  The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness

The author, surviving a childhood of violence and abuse, shares her journey as a homeless person, ashamed and terrified at first, but then awestruck by the extraordinary people she connected with whose stories inspired her to become an activist for the homeless community.

Note: The first third of this book delves intensely into Karp’s early memories of being sexually abused by her biological father and her stormily dysfunctional relationship with her religious mother and stepfather.  If that doesn’t appeal to your club readers, they might still want to soldier through it.  Karp’s experience as a young, independent, professionally groomed, educated homeless person is really revealing and may alter readers’ views of homelessness, the people it affects, and perhaps some of the policy implications.

5.  Smiley, Jane.  Private Life

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres: the powerful and deeply affecting story of one woman’s life, from post Civil-War Missouri to California in the midst of World War II.

6.  Donoghue, Emma.  Room.  [Two kits]

A 5-year-old narrates a riveting story about his life growing up in a single room where his mother aims to protect him from the man who has held her prisoner for seven years since she was a teenager. Includes reading-group guide.

7. De Rosnay, Tatiana.  Sarah’s Key.  [Two kits]

On the anniversary of the roundup of Jews by the French police in Paris, Julia is asked to write an article on this dark episode and embarks on an investigation that leads her to long-hidden family secrets and to the ordeal of Sarah.

8.  Glass, Julia.  Widower’s Tale.

Enjoying an active but lonely rural life, 70-year-old Percy haplessly allows a progressive preschool to move into his barn and transform his quiet home into a lively, youthful community that compels him to reexamine the choices he made in the decades after his wife’s death.

Note:  I found this book wry and affecting with clever satire of contemporary society as a backdrop to family struggles between different generations over the decades. If your book group likes someone like Jonathan Franzen they might go for it.


Prepub goodies

July 26, 2011

Another two boxes of advance reader copies have arrived and I’m happy to share to first responders among Sno-Isle staff.  Here’s what’s on offer today:

Alice Hoffman:  The Dovekeepers.  Her latest follows the lives of four women during the Roman siege of Masada.

Deborah Lawrenson:  The Lantern.  This is a first novel and it’s worth the less-than-lyrical writing.  Stick with it until the very end and you’ll be reminded of Rebecca but with better food and wine because you’re in France.

Terry Pratchett:  Snuff.  This is volume 39 of Discworld.  That’s Sir Terry to you.

Rebecca Coleman:  Kingdom of Childhood.  Lots of buzz on this one – kindergarten teacher has an affair with a 16-year-old student.  The cover is fairly steaming…

posted by nancy

A recent survey by Reading Group Choices found 25% of reading group members are using ebooks.  The actual number surprises me, but really it makes perfect sense.  With an ebook, you can easily bookmark passages and find locations in the text.  Some applications even let you share your ebooks with a friend.  On the other hand, personally I find it more difficult to take in a heady novel in electronic form, but that may be subtle psychological resistance.

In spite of this trend, the Sno-Isle Foundation continues to invest in print book kits to support these time-honored, intimate communities of ideas.  Below is a list of items ordered in the past several months.  The titles in red are coming soon. The others should already be in the reservation system on Sno-Isle’s web page. 

 The Reader’s Advisory Team meets quarterly and chooses titles from a list of suggestions from team members and a variety of sources.  Factors considered include availability of a suitable trade paperback edition of the book, availability of good discussion questions from the publisher or web sites, sustained popularity, availability of other formats such as large print or audio, and a balance of different genres, styles, and perspectives.  Soon I’ll also post a list of what we are about to order now for fall.  I welcome suggestions for the team to consider, especially from your active discussion groups.

Posted by Darren

Title Author  
100 Thing Challenge, The Bruno, Dave  
Big Burn, The Egan, Timonthy  
Bloodroot Greene, Amy  
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen McDougall, Christopher  
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter Franklin, Tom  
Dark Places Flynn, Gillian  
Eating Animals Foer, Jonathan Safran  
Father of the Rain King, Lily  
Gate at the Stairs, A Moore, Lorrie  
Girl Who Fell from the Sky, The Durrow, Heidi  
Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel Walls, Jeannette  
Help, The Stockett, Kathryn  
Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, A Wizenberg, Molly  
Homer & Langley Doctorow, E. L.   
Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Skloot, Rebecca  
Invisible Bridge, The Orringer, Julie  
Last Time I Saw You, The Berg, Elizabeth  
Little Bee Cleave, Chris  
Lotus Eaters, The Soli, Tatjana  
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand Simonson, Helen  
Matterhorn Marlantes, Karl  
My Life As an Experiment: One Man’s Humble Quest to Improve Himself by Living As a Woman, Becoming George Washington, Telling No Lies, and Other Radical Tests Jacobs, A. J.   
Other Wes Moore, The Moore, Wes  
Postmistress Blake, Sarah  
Secrets of Eden Bohjalian, Christopher  
Shadow of the Wind Ruiz Zafon, Carlos  
Sweetness of Tears: A Novel, The Haji, Nafisa  
Visit from the Goon Squad, A Egan, Jennifer  

Eisner Awards announced

July 25, 2011

The Eisner Awards were announced at Comic-Con on Friday night.  There are many categories for awards.  Some of the major awards are:

Best Graphic Novel – new  – Tie  

Return of the Dapper Men by Jim McCann and Janet Lee

Wilson by Daniel Clowes

Best Continuing Series

Chew by John Layman

Best Limited Series

Daytripper by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba

Best New Series

American vampire by Scott Snyder, Stephen King, Rafael Albuquerque and David McCaig

For more winners, Eisner Awards .

Sno-Isle owns many of the titles.  I am glad to see Daytripper on the list since it was one of my favorites of the year.  I am currently engrossed in the series  Naoki Urosawa’s 20th century boys which won Best U.S. Edition of International Materials – Asia.

Posted by Becky

From today’s Publisher’s Weekly: 

All major adult print segments–hardcover, paperback and mass market–showed a decline in sales in May, according to the AAP’s monthly sales report. While e-books showed a steep uptick of 146.9% for the month, bringing in $73.4 million in sales, adult hardcovers dropped 38.2%, adult paperbacks dropped 14.3%, and adult mass market fell 39.4%. For the calendar year, e-books brought in $389.7 million in sales, a 160.1% climb over the same period 2010.

Are print sales down because libraries are the suppliers?

posted by Nancy, who is working on a big file of RINC requests for adult fiction this morning

So, no one wanted the ARC of The Orchard…  how about an advance reader copy of The Night Circus, by Erica Morgenstern? 

It’s a first novel and expected to do well, film rights are already sold.  Le Cirque des Reves is a magical company hiding a fierce competition between two young magicians who play out the rivalry of their instructors.  When love enters the game, who wins and who loses? Pub date is set for 9/13/11.

Be the first to respond to this post and you’ll be the first on your block to have a brand, spanking-new ARC.

posted by Nancy

July 19, 2011
Annotations from Baker & Taylor or Ingram
Well-Tempered Clavicle
Anthony, Piers
Picka Bones and his sister Joy’nt are off in search of adventure with three creatures newly arrived from Mundania–and not the sort of creatures you might expect! Join them in a madcap quest, in this 35th tale of the land of Xanth.
Feast Day of Fools: A Novel
Burke, James Lee
Sheriff Hackberry Holland patrols a small Southwest Texas border town with a deep and abiding respect for the citizens in his care. Still mourning the loss of his cherished wife and locked in a perilous almost-romance with his deputy, Pam Tibbs, a woman many decades his junior, Hackberry feeds off the deeds of evil men to keep his own demons at bay.
A Lawman’s Christmas: A McKettricks of Texas Novel
Miller, Linda Lael
Likable protagonists, a wealth of memorable secondary characters, and heart-touching plot make this warm, family-centered, information-rich 1910 prequel to Miller’s ‘Montana Creeds’ trilogy a good choice for series fans and new readers as well.
House of Secrets
Peterson, Tracie
Three sisters come together for a happy reunion at their childhood home, but must deal with shared trauma from their past in order to heal.
Snuff: A Novel of Discworld
Pratchett, Terry
Never mind that Commander Sam Vimes is on vacation, this is Discworld, where wild adventure is sure to intervene. With more than 65 million copies of Discworld titles out there somewhere, you can bet there will be interest.
The Vault
Rendell, Ruth
When four bodies are discovered in the same underground sewer 12 years after the events of A Sight for Sore Eyes, former Chief Inspector Wexford is pulled out of retirement to follow a complex trail to the original murders only to have his life thrown into turmoil by a devastating personal tragedy.
Shock Wave
Sandford, John
When protests about a superstore chain’s plans to build a location in a Minnesota river town escalate into bombing attacks at the construction site and the company’s headquarters, Virgil Flowers races against time to find and stop the bomber.
The Best of Me
Sparks, Nicholas
Two former high-school sweethearts return to their hometown for the funeral of a mentor and confront the choices they’ve made since they last met in this new novel from the author of The Notebook and Nights in Rodanthe.
Posted by Jenifer Brown